As funeral directors, you have a lot of responsibilities which demand your time and attention. Sometimes, it can be hard to prioritize those things that make a big difference to your client families and secure your long-term success. We recommend focusing on these eight things that great funeral directors do every day:
1. Greet everyone on your staff.
As funeral directors, you trust your employees with the care of your client families and, in doing so, trust them with the success of your business. The best way to ensure that your employees feel valued and understand the importance of their contributions is to acknowledge them. Start each morning by greeting your staff and asking a few questions about their day. This attention goes a long way toward establishing a strong professional community that is better able to serve your client families.
2. Pay attention to details.
Details matter in the funeral profession. Families notice if the cars are clean, the coffee is hot and the lawn is mowed. The best funeral directors take pride in these details and play an active role in these everyday tasks. Even if you oversee a large staff who are tasked with these responsibilities, it’s still a good idea to walk through your funeral home at least once each day to make sure these little details are covered.
3. Check your email.
Funeral directors work in a customer-centric profession, and many of you are very skilled at connecting with client families face-to-face. As our communication continues to skew more digital, though, these same customers are reaching out via email for information on planning funerals. The best funeral directors understand this and make a point to check their email daily so they can connect with these digitally-minded consumers.
4. Track your business goals.
Due to the nature of the profession, the short-term demands of funeral service may take precedence over the long-term needs of a successful business, which is why it is essential to take some time each day to review your business goals. The best funeral directors use tools like the myHomesteaders.com dashboard to quickly review their goals and track their progress.
5. Stay up-to-date with industry news.
Today’s funeral directors are tasked with navigating a constantly changing profession. With the rise of cremation rates comes an emphasis on offering added value as a way to differentiate your services. More and more families want customized experiences, often resulting in celebration of life services which pay unique tribute to their loved ones. The best funeral directors stay competitive by keeping an eye out for new and creative ways to serve client families.
6. Ask the right questions.
Funeral directors interact with families on the very worst days of their lives, and many of you recognize that grieving individuals are not always able to think logically or articulate their wishes clearly. That’s why successful funeral directors are skilled at asking the right questions at the right time. Arbitrating competing desires between grieving family members is easier when you can redirect everyone’s attention to the reasoning behind each request. Perhaps one sibling wants to serve cookies because they remind him of baking with his mother, while the other sibling wants to avoid serving sugar out of respect for an aging aunt with diabetes. In a situation like this, asking follow up questions is the best way to come to a compromise that makes everyone comfortable (like sugar-free cookies).
7. Reflect on the lives of those in your care.
As funeral professionals, it can be easy to get carried away with the business of funeral service, focusing on the necessary details rather than the emotional significance. It’s important, though, to remember that you’re making arrangements for someone’s mother, someone’s sibling, someone’s son. Taking time each day to reflect on the legacy of the people in your care helps motivate you to compassion and empathy while reminding you why your work matters.
8. Spend time with your own loved ones.
It will come as no great surprise that funeral directors have busy, unpredictable schedules. Many of you are on-call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and your families have grown accustomed to interruptions during birthdays, holidays and family get-togethers. Flexibility in these areas is incredibly important in the funeral profession, and these sacrifices mean a lot to the families you serve. However, the best funeral directors understand that spending time with their own loved ones, even if it’s just for a few minutes on the busiest days, helps them refocus their energy and makes them more able to provide compassionate, intentional care to grieving families.